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I was on track to complete my 1st century yesterday in about 5hrs 30 to 5hrs 40, then I flatted and then you wouldn't believe the rest. I spent 40mins dealing with tube problems at 3 different places and times and finished just shy of 6hrs 30.

I have been using Continental 4000 tires. These seem to be good tires but may be part of the problem.

I live pretty far north and DOT does not use salt on the roads during winter. They use gravel. This gravel comes in a myriad of shapes and sizes, including little slivers which have a way of getting lodged in my tires and then getting shoved through the tire and into the tube. I flatted a week ago Saturday with a sliver of rock going through my front tire. Once I pumped that tire up to 120lbs, I noticed a gash in the tire. I switched it out for a Kenda Kaliente, which the 4000's replaced.

My old tires, Kenda Kaliente's, never had this problem, but I wasn't riding as much when I had them on nor was I riding the same kinds of routes. The Kenda's were used mainly on paved rec trails, which we have miles and miles of around here, and some open road routes so even though I rarely flatted with them, I can't say they were/are a better flat-resistant tire.

What can I do? One guy I talked to at the end of the race suggested I go with tubulars. But they flat, too, and I don't care to spend the money on new rims. Certainly there have to be some other options.
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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soft is comfy and flatty.
 

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thoughts...

You need a tire with a puncture resistant kevlar belt. Whether the tire has a tread pattern or not, is not the issue. If pieces of crushed rock (gravel) have sharp enough edges to cut into the tire, the kevlar will help, but ultimately, just about any light weight road tire will get chewed up by that type of road surace.

Something like the Conti 4-seasons might work better.
 

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Tire savers?

Oversane said:
I was on track to complete my 1st century yesterday in about 5hrs 30 to 5hrs 40, then I flatted and then you wouldn't believe the rest. I spent 40mins dealing with tube problems at 3 different places and times and finished just shy of 6hrs 30.
In addition to the good suggestions offered by C-40, you might consider something called a "tire saver." They're not that common any more, but essentially they are a small piece of metal that drags lightly on the tire as it rotates and thereby flicks off those bits of sharp stone, glass, wire, etc. that might imbed themselves in the tread and then slowly work their way through the casing and cause a flat.

Absent that, the typical tradeoff is flat resistance vs. ride quality and rolling resistance. Higher flat resistance means poorer ride quality and more rolling resistance. Tread patterns have nothing to do with it. Besides, the Conti GP4000 is already a smooth tread.
 
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